There is no other city quite like Paris. With its fascinating history, vibrant culture and stunning beauty, it’s a favourite destination among travellers and high up on many people’s bucket lists. When it comes time to choose a hotel and figure out the best place to stay in Paris, it can be overwhelming! If you haven’t visited Paris before, looking at a map and 100 hotel tabs can quickly turn into a full-blow pre-travel spiral. Having just visited and found a great location and boutique hotel, I wanted to share with you all the details of our stay. Hopefully, it helps you figure out if the location is a good fit for you as well and shed some light on the boutique hotel experience in Paris.
Where is the hotel located?
You’ll find Hôtel du Petit Moulin located in the trendy Haut Marais, the heart of ‘Old Paris,’ an area known for its narrow streets and lively nightlife. Spanning across part of the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, the area was the aristocratic district of Paris and is home to many outstanding buildings of historic and architectural importance. From the map below, you can see the hotel’s location in relation to the Arc De Triomphe and the approximate cost per night in AU$.
Dating back to the 13th century, Haut Marais is Paris’ oldest quarter so it’s fitting the building where Hôtel du Petit Moulin now stands was once Paris’ first bakery. The original shop frontage remains, serving as the entry to the hotel and a reminder of its storied past, where the renowned French poet and author, Victor Hugo, would come to buy his baguette.
We loved staying in Le Marais! The neighbourhood has a welcoming, friendly atmosphere and we felt safe strolling around the streets during the day and evenings. There’s a wealth of restaurants, cafes and boutiques nearby and we found it very easy to get around on the metro, using the free app maps.me to help us navigate without internet access. Hôtel du Petit Moulin’s location was ideal for our Paris adventures, serving as a great home base for us to retreat to each day and offering us easy access to all the major sites, plenty to see and do locally and a whole lot of history to experience as well.
How do I get there?
We flew from Singapore to Paris on a direct flight with Singapore Airlines. Our trip was actually broken up as we flew from Brisbane to Singapore, spent a couple of days exploring Singapore then went onward to Paris. It was a really nice way of breaking up the long flights and allowed us to finally visit Jewel at Changi Airport! If you’re weighing up which airline to go with, we had a fantastic experience with Singapore Airlines and highly recommend them. We love the amazing service, delicious food, comfortable seats and great entertainment!
On arriving in Paris, we had a private transfer organised to take us from Charles de Gaulle airport to Hôtel du Petit Moulin. After a 14-hour flight, we were really glad to have done it this way as the guesswork was taken out of it! Instead of figuring out how to get from the airport to Le Marais, we strolled out of customs and were met by our driver who helped us with our bags and got us to the hotel with no fuss whatsoever. The drive took a little less than an hour. Private transfer can be arranged through the hotel or you can source your own company if you prefer. Our transfer was arranged through Blacklane at a cost of around €86.
What are the rooms like?
The interiors of Hôtel du Petit Moulin were designed by Christian Lacroix, with each room having its own unique design. There are a total of 16 rooms and one Junior Suite, each with its own story and experience. I loved the eclectic, vibrant design of the hotel as it oozed opulence while still managing to be comfortable and welcoming.
Having stayed in Paris before at a very small, budget hotel on the outskirts of the city, we both really appreciated the size, style and location of Hôtel du Petit Moulin. The room was a great size for the two of us, with enough room for us to open our suitcases up flat on the floor and still be able to move around easily.
The room was equipped with free wi-fi, air-conditioning, flat-screen LED TV with international channels, Codage bathroom amenities, bathrobe and slippers, desk, armchair, double-door windows, safe and minibar. The bed was a great size for two people and very comfortable! We got a good night’s sleep each night of our stay and found the hotel to be great noise-wise as there was no loud street noise floating up into our room or any noise from other guests at the hotel.
Our room was beautifully clean and comfortable and the bathroom was also a great size. The rainforest shower-head was perfect for soaking our tired bodies under after a big day spent exploring. It was nice having such a great room to retreat back to each day after all our sightseeing was done.
The hotel is equipped with a small elevator so you can easily get your bags up to your room but, given ours was located on the first floor, we tended just to walk up and down the stairs each morning. While there is no on-site pool, we were invited to use the facilities at the nearby sister hotel. Like I said, we had a great stay and really liked our room as it met all our needs.
Let’s talk about the food situation
I’ve had my fair share of disappointing continental breakfasts so you can imagine my absolute delight when we showed up to breakfast at the hotel and were greeted with an incredible spread! Simple and absolutely delicious, we were treated to a full plunger of freshly-made coffee and an assortment of fresh juice to choose from.
The breakfast bar was adorned with baskets full of fresh pastries and bread as well as delicious muesli, cheeses, cold cuts and fresh fruit. Like I said, it was simple and delicious! Everything was high quality, which I loved as you can often visit a hotel breakfast only to be offered a lot of very average food. In moments like that, I also think about the amount of food that is wasted. At Hôtel du Petit Moulin, I imagine there would be very little food waste.
We thoroughly enjoyed our breakfast and coffee each morning in the hotel’s vibrant restaurant setting. It was cosy, welcoming and everything was prepared with love and care. It made for the perfect start to each day!
Boutique hotels are still a relatively new experience for me as I’m used to years spent staying at big chains. Honestly, those hotels are the ones I automatically tend to gravitate toward when planning a trip. But, I have to say, I’ve been loving boutique hotel experiences as they offer a unique, personalised experience that really stays with you.
As the hotel has 16 rooms, the staff easily recognised us each day which allowed us to feel almost like locals! We really felt part of the community in many ways and had a personal experience that was incredibly warm and welcoming. Not only that but the size of the hotel also meant we didn’t feel crowded at breakfast or check-in/check-out times, it almost felt as if the hotel was our own!
Paris is the perfect place to have a boutique hotel experience. The incredible history of the building combined with a comfortable, unique room made for an unforgettable experience. We genuinely loved our stay at Hôtel du Petit Moulin. The location is fantastic, the staff are attentive, welcoming, friendly and helpful, our room was wonderful and the food was delicious. We really couldn’t have asked for more and would have no trouble recommending the hotel to our friends and family.
Even if you decide Hôtel du Petit Moulin isn’t the right fit for you, I’d recommend taking some time to check out the Small Luxury Hotels website to see if there’s something else that is the right fit you can find the Small Luxury Hotels property listing for France here. We stayed at two of their properties in Paris, the second being Le Pavillon de la Reine, and had a great stay at both. Personally, I just think Paris is the spot for a unique, boutique experience as it really does capture the distinct Parisian charm you want to experience on such a special trip.
Useful travel resources for your trip to France
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Agoda – our go-to site for booking hotels
Skyscanner – our go-to for booking flights
RentalCars.com – great search engine for car rentals
Motorhome Republic – our go-to site for booking RVs
Booking.com – another go-to site for booking hotels
TourRadar – great search engine for tours
Uber – our go-to transport option